Passport services were temporarily on hold during the pandemic. This made it hard for many people to obtain a new passport or passport renewal. Thankfully, some passport services have resumed, and travelers can obtain passports once again. If you’re looking to get a passport but aren’t exactly sure about the current status of passport services, here’s a 2021 update on the 3 phase re-open plan for passport services:
Phase One (Done):
- Passport Agencies were only prioritizing customers who needed a passport within 72 hours for a life-or-death emergency only.
- A limited number of Passport Agency employees returned to work specifically to process applications already at the facility.
- The Passport Agencies recommended that customers wait to submit new or renewal applications as delays were expected to continue.
- Third-party expediting services like Swift were not yet able to submit applications to the Passport Agency.
- Applications were being processed on a first-in, first-out basis.
Phase Two (Done):
- The Passport Agency added additional staff
- Work trips and trips for leisure were still not sufficient reasons to apply in person at a Passport Agency.
Phase Three (In Progress):
- Passport Agency staff have been returning to work.
- If you need a passport for a work trip or a trip for pleasure, this is now a sufficient reason to apply in person if you can prove you leave in 2 weeks or less with a flight itinerary.
- Applications are still being processed on a first-in, first-out basis.
- Third-party expediting services like Swift can now submit applications to the Passport Agency (very limited availability nationwide).
- Swift can now obtain new passports, child passports, passport renewals, and lost passport replacements in 7-10 business days. This service is limited, and we are only able to take appointments on a first-come-first-served basis.
- If you need a passport renewal, you have the choice of our 4-12 week option, as well as a 7-10 business day option. Please call ahead if you’re interested in our 7-10 business day option.
Traveling During COVID-19
If you plan on traveling during COVD-19, it’s essential to take the proper precautions to keep yourself safe. Some things that you can do include:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Maintain social distancing
- Sanitize your frequently used items
- Wear your mask in public places
- Be respectful of those around you
- Research the area that you’re going to and understand their rules and restrictions
To stay up to date on traveling during the coronavirus pandemic, you can visit our covid-19 resource page. We consistently update it with new information as we receive it. Do your best to stay safe and healthy while traveling to protect yourself and those around you.
If you have any questions about obtaining a new passport or passport renewal, please feel free to contact us. A member of our knowledgeable team will be happy to help answer any questions you may have. As always, no matter where you’re traveling in the world, stay safe, stay healthy, and enjoy your trip!